We are exploring mobile apps, Internet video portals to monetize content

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is one of India's leading television

channel operators. Running its business in India and abroad, the channel is

known for its innovations. In an interview with VOICE&DATA, Ajay Kumar Meher,

VP, IT and new media, MSM, Sony Entertainment Television unveils the

technological deployments and future plans of the company. Excerpts


What are the critical components of ICT deployments in your company?

Telecom and ICT deployments have become increasingly necessary for any

organization to integrate its operations. We try to leverage its optimum

benefits. The company is constantly upgrading its infrastructure for better

manageability at all levels.

Multi Screen Media India has five locations and two data centers. Our main

center is in Mumbai and other offices at Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai,

and Delhi. All these locations are interconnected by a MPLS. Also the broadcast

center is in Singapore, which is connected from Mumbai through a MPLS network.

For effective business communications and streamlining business processes,

MSM India is deploying Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft OCS for unified

communications. We see scalable infrastructure as an important ingredient to

ensure smooth collaboration. Our company is also deploying distribution of

digital content. MSM is always ready to go for the selection and adoption of

latest technologies to have better RoI and customer satisfaction. The technology

infrastructure of MSM can be broadly divided into two parts. One is generic IT

and the other is broadcast infrastructure. The generic IT infrastructure is

critical. But the broadcast infrastructure is business critical in nature. Both

are integrated to provide the best to customers.


How do you mitigate the challenges of securing your media assets?

Well, being in the media industry making sure that we keep our content safe

is very important.

For this we have already deployed information rights management. With this

deployment we can completely secure any data or document. It is not only

password encrypted but is secured at multiple layers to avoid any leakage of


The other deployment which we are aggressively working on is digital rights

management in which our digital content will be made more secure. Any unethical

copying or transmitting of data will be prohibited after its implementation.

Also, as a company policy our USB devices, CDs are vigilantly monitored. We also

have a policy based access to USB and CD Drives.


Media channels are increasingly trying to capitalize their content using

mobiles. How are you trying to leverage this opportunity?

Like other media houses, voting and contests on reality shows are ongoing

activities. Apart from that, we are exploring mobile applications and Internet

video portals to monetize the content. In this age of reality shows, you cannot

go on churning what you want to show. But you have to know the opinion of the

audience to produce shows that could become popular among the masses. The

ongoing activities on mobile give us a sneak into the instant reaction that is

generated among spectators once the show goes on air.

Video portals are also increasing the life of a show which we are constantly

exploring to give the very best as well as to maintain that they are not time



Now that convergence is taking place in ICT, how important would it be for

TV channels?

Convergence will make a difference for TV channels as it is growing from TV

to Internet and mobile. Mobile TV can be easily hailed as the herald of true

convergence. The realization of a successful mobile TV service demands the

participation of many players and the establishment of a functional working

relationship. These multiple stakeholders need to collaborate to ensure that

content is delivered to the target audience. Sony is quite excited as it will be

able to produce its archives on sale or for free. This will not only add to the

revenues of the company, but also give viewers the power of choice. Availability

of 'content on demand' will be the biggest advantage in the aftermath of

convergence. Choosing the right partners and clarity in their respective roles

in the value chain will be essential in making the integration of various

technologies successful. Convergence will help us to grow the platform. TV on

the move will be yet another revolution that will not only give a new life to

the technologies, but also make the channels leverage this huge opportunity to

offer better and updated services from the channels.

Can you share the range of connectivity solutions used by the company?

Better connectivity means better opportunities. This prerequisite is taken

care with great responsibility in the organization. There are lot of

connectivity solutions that we have in our company. The major ones that are used

are Internet, MPLS, IMPLS that keep us connected in and out all the time.

With the workforce that looks for information on the move, we constantly

endeavor to converge various technologies to integrate our far flung offices and

manpower which is spread all over the country.


What are the new trends?

Convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications are in their early

stages. Convergence basically describes two trends: the ability of different

network platforms (broadcast, satellite, cable, telecommunications) to carry

similar kind of services; and the merging of consumer devices such as

telephones, televisions, or PCs. Convergence is a key trend and it is an ongoing

technology. 3G (now the latest is 4G) will make a difference in a broadcast

organization like us. Lastly, cloud penetration will make the impact more


Are you satisfied with QoS on the bandwidth front?

The Indian telecom space is very competitive, and telcos are working hard to

match the quality which is at par with any international carrier. And if you

talk about QoS, it is improving day by day. I will also like to share that like

many global organizations, we leverage the technology adopted by our global

parents and also see how to integrate ourself with our global organization, so

as to produce the best for our viewers.

In which part of your business, are you exploring outsourcing?

We aggressively outsource in IT. Our net management, data centers,

applications management, broadcast management are also outsourced. I would also

like to mention that while we outsource, we also focus on outsourcing security

and scalability.


How do you think IPTV and mobile TV broadcasting are going to evolve in

the country?

Slowly, but it will definitely evolve in India. All broadcasters are having

a different focus, and people would like to have different media to access


Is there any new technology deployment that is proving to be an edge in

enhancing efficiency?

The company is constantly looking at the domestic as well as the

international space to get the best technology as well as to establish strategic

partnerships which can help us tap the market potential. After the launch of 3G

and WiMax, a plethora of options will open for the Indian audience and to

capture their attention in the competition will be tough. We will be looking

forward to constant evolution so as to produce quality work.

Archana Singh